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Nov 27, 2009 04:40 PM

Coffeehouses with wifi in DC?

What coffee shops in DC have free wifi and don't mind if people stay and work for hours? Finals time is approaching, and it would be great to find a regular study spot.

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  1. Java Cafe (Arlington, close to courthouse and/or Clarendon metro stations)

    Downtown Barnes and Noble Cafe and the one in Georgetown as well... both open around 9am and close around 10-11pm

    I think all the Paneras also have free internet.

    Good luck with your finals =)

    1. This is pretty much what Tryst is for, during the day everybody there is working.

      Tryst Coffee House Bar & Lounge
      2459 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20009

      2 Replies
      1. re: mselectra

        They turn WiFi off on the weekends and at certain times (annoying!).

        You can also pick it up at some Starbuck's--like the one on Dupont Circle--from a nearby hotel.


        1. re: Jacey

          Tryst's wifi is VERY erratic even on weekdays; Open City in Woodley Park is not as comfy but their wifi is reliable.

      2. All the places above, plus Sidamo, SOVA (although the wifi there doesn't cover the very front of the store very well), Soho, Ebenezer's, Saxby's, Mid-City, Peregrine, and Columbia Heights, and that's just in DC proper.

        Not that I've spent untold hours working from coffeeshops or anything.

        1. Tryst (but no wifi on the weekends...boooo), Bread and Brew in Dupont.

          Tryst's sister-restaurant, Open City has free wifi (weekends too), not exactly a coffeeshop but I've spent hours there typing on my computer and they don't seem to mind. I try not to go during super busy hours though and I make sure to order lunch and then a few coffees or teas. They also have good cake :)

          SoHo Coffee on P St. in Dupont has free wi-fi if you spend a certain amount (maybe $8 or so) on food. Get the amazing chicken salad wrap and a coffee and you should be fine.

          1. Pete's-a-Pizza in Columbia Heights is somewhat of a secret - it's not a coffee shop proper but it serves self-serve illy drip (or espresso drinks but you can't refill those gratis for hours) in a ceramic mug.

            It's right next to the abysmal Tynan coffee shop which loudly advertises its worthless time-rationed wifi so those not in the know are siphoned off there (and how).

            There's also Chinatown Coffee Co on 5th & H, really cozy and has great coffee (by the obnoxious crook behind Murkey Coffee; he's only working the supply now so no worries about Style-section level embarrassments over ordering coffee wrong or being bilked out of thousands of tax dollars). If you're working on a Macbook be prepared to feel like a tool when you add your glowing apple to the crowd.

            Gee I kind of hope too many people are reading this, these are favorite secret spots, and can get kind of full quickly as it is.

            There's also Java House on Q & 17th which isn't much of a secret at all, but their coffee's good (though not a unanimous opinion). They also roast on the premises, and sell beans via self-serve bins, so you can get fresh beans at whatever volume you need. Their wifi is now only available after 3PM on weekends though.

            9 Replies
            1. re: drsnacks

              Enjoyed this entertaining post drsnacks!

              I haven't managed to go to Big Bear coffee, but that's pretty popular too, I believe. And I'll second the rec for Columbia Heights Coffee, although it's a small space.

              I was really excited about Tynan opening and it's so convenient I'll probably be there a fair amount, but not to work, and it's been something of a disappointment generally (did you see the rather amusing discussion on PoP recently?)

              1. re: mselectra

                Just did now, thanks. Interesting the lighting was called out, I knew one of the many problems was that something was "off" about the decor; the lighting is part of it but the furniture choices also have that non-committal, personality-less Bruegger's feel to it.

                (I also didn't realize there were so many apologists but that explains the crowds)

                1. re: mselectra

                  Big Bear and Mid-City are great places to linger. Big Bear is filled most afternoons with students and people working on their laptops. And they serve Counter Culture coffee. Another good one is Mid-City Coffee on 14th Street. Relatively new. They also serve Counter Culture. I had a really tasty sweet potato cake with chocolate frosting there a few weeks ago.

                2. re: drsnacks

                  Good point: wifi camping shouldn't be limited to just coffee shops. I'm always looking for places that I can grab a (non-coffeeshop-pastry) bite, get some work done on the laptop, and potentially linger for a while (and tip well...) without annoying the waitstaff. I'll have to check out Pete's; do people have other suggestions?

                  I've also had people suggest trying hotel restaurants in general, but hotel websites never tell you whether their wifi is open or if you need to be a guest to use it. Anyone know of specific hotel restaurants that do have open wifi for anyone eating there?

                  1. re: sweth

                    "Good point: wifi camping shouldn't be limited to just coffee shops. "

                    I walked past Lahori Kabob (Falls Church) yesterday and noticed a WiFi sign on the door, so you can scarf down mediocre buffet food while working on your computer.

                    Does Starbucks have free WiFi now? I've noticed some new signs recently, but I don't go to Starbucks often and when I do I don't bring my computer. They used to be a T-Mobile hot spot which meant you need a subscription or had to pay by the use.

                    1. re: MikeR

                      Starbucks doesn't have free WiFi per se, but they have a deal where if you get one of their prepaid cards and use it at least once a month, you get free wifi for that month; I end up having to meet w/ clients at Starbucks at least once a month just because they are a convenient meeting place, so I go the prepaid card route and effectively have free wifi there. But there's only so much wifi that a person can take, hence the desire to branch out to other options.

                      1. re: sweth

                        Only so much Starbucks that a person can take, too. ;)

                        Thanks for the explanation of their current WiFi. When I'm on the road and need WiFi (not staying at a hotel or friend with it) I look for a Panera. There's plenty of them, they all have free WiFi, the coffe and pastries are acceptable, and it's not even a bad for a simple lunch.

                        1. re: MikeR

                          Um, yes. Starbucks, not wifi. Too much Starbucks can rot one's brain so one can't tell the difference between the store and the service, apparently.

                          Panera is OK, but not nearly as ubiquitous, and I find their seating uniformly uncomfortable.

                    2. re: sweth

                      If that's the case, Busboys and Poets has great wifi and not that busy on weekdays.